Narrelle M Harris on Raymond Gates

The Only One in the World: “The Enemy Within.” by Raymond Gates

I knew I wanted a story with an Indigenous Australian viewpoint for this anthology and naturally turned to Raymond Gates to see if he was interested. Raymond and I both had stories in Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook so I knew he could deliver on the Holmesian mystery front as well.

One of my aims with the anthology was to discover what aspects of other cultures and backgrounds might manifest in the stories, without any (probably stereotypical) expectations being laid on them by me. The general brief was ‘using your knowledge and experience, create a Holmes and/or Watson – any time period, any gender, any sexuality – and show the reader what they’d be like with those different cultural influences’.  

Raymond delivered to that brief beautifully. As he said in the Critical Mass zoom meeting in April, his characters’ Aboriginality is part of their identity without that being the crux of the mystery.

‘The Enemy Within’ has more of a horror tilt to it, which is Ray’s usual writing milieu, and nods towards some of the more horror-flavoured canon stories like ‘The Creeping Man’ and The Hound of the Baskervilles. But just like canon, although there’s a shade of horror, the story is set firmly in reality – as Holmes said in ‘The Sussex Vampire’, “This agency stands flat-footed upon the ground, and there it must remain. The world is big enough for us. No ghosts need apply”.

If you’re intrigued, take a look at Raymond’s interview about his story on Clan Destine Press, where he answers three questions about writing his story – the most unexpected thing he learned while writing it, his favourite thing about writing it, and what is quintessentially Australian about his Holmes and Watson.

You can buy The Only One in the World at Clan Destine Press right now.

More about Ray

Raymond is an Aboriginal Australian writer living in Wisconsin, USA, whose childhood crush on reading everything dark and disturbing evolved into an adult love affair with horror and dark fiction. He is a writer of multiple short stories and is working on a novel. Check out more of his work at http://www.raymondgates.com/

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